We all should be asking ourselves what can we do to help the world transition to net zero?

Those of us who work in the environmental and sustainable areas are well aware of the devastating impacts of climate change.  We also know that by working together we can blunt its effects.

The key question that all of us face is are the key decision makers in business and politics actually listening to us?  I suspect most of us feel the answer to this question is not really. 

The pace of change is much too slow.  A sentiment echoed by the UN Secretary General Antonio Gutterres, last month who said:

The era of global warming has ended, and the era of global boiling has arrived. The air is unbreathable, the heat is unbearable, and the level of fossil fuel profits & climate inaction is unacceptable.’

View the You Tube Video here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xyacrd1d-cU

Few of us scientists would disagree with his words.  Yet as I write this, in the UK the political consensus on climate action appears to have broken down.  The UK government is happily issuing new offshore oil and gas drilling licenses when we all know that we need to develop alternatives to fossil fuels as fast as we can.

We can, and must, lobby politicians to get them to listen and put in place long-term plans to tackle climate change.

More importantly, as individuals we can all collectively make a difference to help the UK get back on track to achieve net zero by 2050.

All of which brings me back to the key question I have been asking myself.

What am I doing to make things better?

Currently, I work part time lecturing environmental masters students at the University of Derby. In parallel to this I have my own business and provide support to business and organisations on low carbon and sustainable development issues.  About 12-months ago I decided I need to do more. Climate change is not being combatted quick enough and we all need to up our game.  I realised I need to use my skills in a different way to contribute to the change we all need to see.

What can each of us do individually to increase the adoption of sustainable practices and speed up the transition to net zero? 

The obvious answer for me is to use my skills to persuade and facilitate others to adopt sustainable practices.

For me this means combining my teaching and learning skills with my business consultancy in a different way in order to make a bigger impact.

Whilst I am happy and fortunate to be teaching the next generation of environmental professionals, I began to wonder who is helping the small business owner understand the science of sustainability. Including how it is relevant to them and how it can be applied to their own business.

A Google search of training courses in sustainable development and the low carbon economy identifies many leading universities with lengthy, time consuming and often costly courses on sustainable leadership and development.  Many of these courses necessitate learning a lot of theory that is not absolutely necessary for small businesses to know or helpful in enabling them to do what they need to do.

So where does a small or micro business go to find a course that shows them how to calculate their carbon emissions and transition to a net zero economy without having to study for a year?  I didn’t find an answer to this.  Hence the idea of developing short online courses for SMEs and micro-businesses was born.

For the last year I have been developing a learning platform to deliver online training to small businesses with the creatively talented Dave Bowyer from MM&B studios, who designed my company webpage.

I will be sharing more details of this exciting project with you soon. It is my way of helping to make the world a more sustainable place and support the transition to net zero here in the UK.

I would encourage everyone to ask themselves the same question. What can I do to help?

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Paul Beers

August 2023


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